“Winning is the best deodorant.” – John Madden
I have used this quote in many things before. If you ask anyone that I currently work with, they will tell you that, yeah, I have been known to say this. Many people think this is one of the craziest quotes ever to use. Well, I am not a normal person, but this one actually makes sense, not only when the team you are managing (or coaching) is doing well, but even in your personal or spiritual life.
Winning teams are usually put on a pedestal. They are not scrutinized as hard as someone, on say, a losing team. When my team is doing well, hitting goals, making strides towards success, it is hard to chastise them for things. It is hard for someone on the outside to pick out things that need to be improved on, and typically, if you are doing well, people will let you keep doing what you are doing. It is a nice feeling to be a winner, to be on the winning team, and to be apart of the system that is winning. The opposite is not what anyone really strives for in life, and no one likes to be on the losing side of things.
Winning can also bring about a sense of complacency. When you are doing things the best you can, you can sometimes feel like you are going through the motions. You can get into a “rhythm” and can seem like you are doing things on auto pilot. I call this the highway to work syndrome. You get to going, and even the best of drivers, running on auto pilot, can make mistakes. Mistakes that can take you from the winning mode, and back into a state of losing, or at least not hitting goals. When that happens, in comes the people that can now point out the flaws in everything that is going on. It is easier to tell people what needs to happen and sort of “arm chair quarterback” things after the fact.
The same holds true when it comes to your personal and spiritual life. Isn’t easy for you to “arm chair quarterback” someone else, or someone’s activities. It is much harder to keep your own affairs on the winning side. I am not saying that people are all losing at their relationships, I am saying that it is harder to do that, than to sit around and judge others. Especially when you have not seen the things, or done the things that they have done. It is also very easy to fall off the wagon after you have been doing really well for a while. I think it is in those times that we have to remember, even the winning people have things to work on, just like everyone else.
That is what the season of Advent is supposed to be about. Looking at things in a new way, bringing on a new year, and understanding that no matter where we are in our lives, personally, professionally, or spiritually, we all have things to work on. The team, both at work, and in relationships (if you are single, still the relationship with yourself and God) we all have things that we can rework, and redo, and renew.